The Future of the Virgin Islands
Janelle K Sarauw wanted to light a fire in the younger generation of voters. Being the youngest to run for office by 15 years or more, many saw her bid and strategy as folly. Politics in the US Virgin Islands [USVI] has primarily been based on family name and popularity more than substance and intelligence. Though well known in her community, Ms. Sarauw is a very tough sell-- young, highly educated, gay woman, with locs and tattoos. We had to focus the attention on what she stood for; new, innovative ideas and government transparency none in the USVI had ever seen. It hinged on being out in the open, on the ground with no base of operations. The team would go to you. No politician in the territory had ever utilized social media and the internet as a way to reach the constituents, engaging the young, even too young to vote, in a way that encouraged civic action. The imagery of the team out in the neighborhoods gave their words credence, but the video work educated the people on her platform and helped set the tone in understanding who she was as a person and who she would be as an elected official.
- Create the Mission and Vision
- Narrow the focus in order to create a guide for all initiatives.
- Set the standard for all team members. Allows for slight autonomy.
- Develop strategy for content release
- Pattern content release with event appearances
- Choose platforms for release
- Create still and video content focusing on character and impact
- Images specific to youth, energy, and engagement
- Video heavy on policy education
- Build platforms for content
- Web site to house deep knowledge and important office information
- Facebook and Instagram to create dialogue with those near and far
- Monthly Report to highlight the achievements made
Hard fought, the 32nd Legislature of the Virgin Islands awarded the 15th seat to Senate Candidate Janelle K Sarauw. We shifted from campaigning to policy-making. Now it was about understanding how government works, and how to adjust information leaving the office. It was now more about understanding problems and promoting solutions. We needed to create allies for initiatives. Though design and creative content were still a significant part of telling the story and sending the right message, networking and social interaction became a much more critical part of my role, as well as copy-writing. It was by far, the most stressful, challenging, rewarding, and meaningful position I have taken in my career.
Heavy Burden Senator Sarauw considers options after seeing the deteriorating infrastructure at a high school.